Monday, August 24, 2009

compassion and justice

I was privileged to be part of the Compassion child advocates conference at the Goldcoast this weekend. It's exciting to realise that God is speaking similar things to all different parts of the same body. Typically, compassion has emphasized the need to sponsor children from developing world situations - and that sponsorship is primarily a financial one. This is an important thing. Re-distribution of wealth is a major justice issue in the world and an important part of the christian journey as well. Sponsoring a child is the very least we can do. The other things they began to speak about though are the deeper things - or as scripture likes to suggest - the weightier things... legislation to protect our children from being completely sexualized (see Melinda Tankard Reist's new book blogged about earlier!) and how that factors into making children (around the world) a product instead of a dignified life... poverty relief that is also rooted in advocacy at a political level (see Micah Challenge). And justice as a lifestyle - rather than simply adding things to our existing comfortable lives, justice is about changing and shifting our lives to be part of what God wants to do in the world. These are some significant changes in perspective and scope. Pray for Compassion and while you are at it pray that God would work those same deep, weighty truths of scripture into not only your mind but your life. All the way through.


Emily said...

Hey Danielle, thanks for mentioning us in your blog. That's pretty cool. Your teaching was so refreshing and I thank God for your voice as part of the discourse we're having about advocacy for chidren. I know your contribution is going to help us at Compassion navigate this territory and see grasshoppers instead of giants all the time (or at the least give us a couple of extra slingshots and stones maybe). Thanks again.

David said...

Redistribution of wealth can be seen as a form socialism that rewards the lazy and punishes the hard-working.

Financial assistance to people in poorer countries looks good on paper and has some impact, but it completely ignores the real political problems of governance, corruption, and market opportunities. Fix these, and the need to "sponsor a child" or "buy fair trade" is reduced substantially.

People might be fed up with the apparently unfair distribution of wealth around the world and within countries, but people are just as sick of nanny states and religious do-gooders who have a shallow understanding of economics, free markets and small but appropriate government.

If God wants to do something, then the most appropriate course of action is to let God do it Himself. After all, if He created the Universe then He should have no problem carrying out His will. Stop trying to second guess God - just leave God alone.